The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers. It sounds like a kung fu move. Or the pretext of an ancient Chinese proverb. But this isn’t either of those.
It’s the title of Yīn Yīn’s debut album, a Dutch five-piece that’s delved into the mysterious, obscure and intriguing world of Southeast Asian ’60s-70s psychedelic music, and use it as the foundation for their uninhibited creative escapades.
Comparisons to Khruangbin will undoubtedly be made, given that they’re both rooted in a similar sound, but there’s a noticeable difference between the two groups. Where Khruangbin let things gently glide and float along, Yīn Yīn hop and bound along, being whisked up by the pure joy of their experimentation, unafraid to see how far from home it takes them.
The results are entertaining and captivating: “Pingpxng”, with its twanging, plucky guitar and horse hoof clip-clops, is the catchiest darn country outlaw theme you’ll hear all year. “Alpaca Mountain” builds from a beguiling low-key jam session to eventually scale epic heights, powered along by a propulsive rhythm section. And closing track “Dis kô Dis kô” is a thrumming, humid all-night electronic dance party with flourishes of wiggly guitar trills. There’s a madcap energy humming through the album, juxtaposed with moments of quiet zen, and you can’t help but be caught up by it all.
Yīn Yīn’s aim is clear: fill people with a buzz to get them moving. And with the eccentric, boundary-bashing, genre-melding groove of The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers, you can be sure as hell they achieve just that.